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Skip the lengthy lines and enjoy VIP access to the Vatican Museum’s many works of art on this private, guided, 3.5-hour tour. Hear the stories that bring the art to life. Visit the Vatican Pinacoteca art gallery; the Chiaramonti Museum, a collection of Roman busts and statues and the spiral Bramante Staircase. Also, see Raphael’s Rooms, four interconnected rooms with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael and the Gallery of Tapestries. Visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous “Creation of Adam” painting, plus St. Peter’s Basilica and more.

Highlights

  • Private walking tour of the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica
  • Prioritized Skip the Line entry to the Vatican Museums (price includes entry fees)
  • Guided tour of the Vatican Museums
  • Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with magnificent Last Judgment fresco
  • Choice of morning, afternoon and evening three-hour tours
  • English-speaking guide specializing in art history
  • Departs from the entrance to the Vatican Museums and concludes at St Peter's Basilica
  • Enjoy privileged, personalized attention from your guide on this special private art tour
  • Customize the tour to suit your own interests

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line Private Tour: Vatican Museums and St Peter's Art History Walking Tour

Inside of St Peter's Cathedral at Vatican City

Meet and greet the tour guide outside the main entrance of the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries of classical and Renaissance art masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a special reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines.

Once inside, there are more than nine miles of art, so follow along with the guide who will point out the highlights and explain the story behind each work of art.

Stop at the Vatican Pinacoteca art gallery, featuring some of the most influential paintings in the world like Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, Da Vinci’s unfinished St. Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration.

See the hundreds of Roman busts and statues inside the Chiaramonti Museum, then roam the Octagonal Courtyard to see Apollo Belvedere, a celebrated marble sculpture and the Laocoon, one of the most famous ancient sculptures in the world.

One of the biggest thrills of the tour is a visit to the Bramante Staircase. It was once used by the popes and Vatican staff, but it is now rarely visited. Take the opportunity to get a photo of this beautiful spiral staircase. Then exit directly into the Gregorian Etruscan Museum to see the many bronze figurines and Etruscan tombs.

Finally, visit Raphael’s Rooms, four interconnected rooms with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; the six-sectioned Gallery of Candelabra, with Roman copies of Hellenistic originals and some great second century candelabra, from Otricoli; the Gallery of Tapestries, featuring the drawings from many of Raphael’s pupils; and Gallery of Maps, on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard featuring a series of painted topographical maps of Italy.

Go to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement and St. Peter’s Basilica to see Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

The tour ends just outside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Customer Reviews

Joni Marie J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our tour guide, Isabella,Botti was wonderful. She spent 3 hours with us, skillfully negotiating through the crowds, discussing the history and art of the Vatican. We were able to stop and ask questions whenever we needed more information and she made the large, imposing collections accessible. After comparing notes with friends who have taken Vactican tours, I am convinced that this is the only way to see and appreciate the museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St, Peter's. Brava Isabella!

Donald S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was a highlight of our trip. Our guide, Anna, was very knowledgeable having studied at the Vaticcan and received a doctorate in art history. Having our own personal guide was outstanding. My wife is an artist and could ask many questions. We tell everyone how great it was.

Allison z Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We had an amazing tour!!!
Were lucky to have one of the best tour guides!!!
Thank You.

Cristina S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Excellent tour, an extremely knowledgeable and pleasant guide Alicia, we enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended.

Donna W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Excellent!

Lynn N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Again we used the tour with an art historian.I cannot express enough how much this benefited our group. Our guide was so knowledgeable and easy to understand.I know I would not have gotten as much out of this tour without the art historian. The. Vatican is very crowded,do not go on the free museum day.

Merrill B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Maria, was superb with explanations and photos provided before the tour that enhanced our learning and experience. She was patient and answered our questions we expertise. Truly wonderful.

John F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We appreciated our expert guide. She helped us navigate our way through wonderful art and the incredible crowds.

Andrea M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was so wonderful tour , it started a little early which gave us more time . And our tour guide was full of information , she spoke great English . I would rate this tour a 5 .

Ruby C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

To have an art historian accompany us on this tour was truly amazing. Blanche was very knowledgeable and knew all the very interesting points in the Vaticam.

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